To the Spring of Battles (勝負の春へ Shōbu no Haru he) is the 101st chapter of manga, Baby Steps.
Characters in order of appearanceEdit
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Sanae Maruo
- Kojirou Kageyama
- Himeko Sasaki
- Natsu Takasaki
- Yu Nabae (flashback)
- Hisashi Kanda (flashback)
- Takayuki Okada (flashback)
- Yoshiaki Ide (flashback)
Eiichiro continues his training in preparation for his matches in Kanagawa Junior Tennis Circuit on but he also has to deal his teachers' expectations for his future career.
Before attending school, Eiichiro starts his day having a light stretching and jogging around the neighborhood. At classes, Eiichiro has to concentrate in the lessons even though he feels tired as he does not have any spare time to study at home. He takes some nap whenever he has free time at school. During lunch, his adviser talks about his "tennis player" career he wrote in the career guidance survey and reminds him that the recommendation gets decided on August.
After school, he walks together with Natsu. While Natsu is in the best 4 in the previous competition, she feels vexing that she lost to Shimizu in the semi-finals. Eiichiro encourages her that she can beat Shimizu in the next All-Japan Junior Tennis Tournament.
At STC, Eiichiro starts with stretching exercises and warm-up, followed by training for control and fast serves. At home, Eiichiro writes reflection on what was happened in the practices. He also reflects on the results in All-Japan Junior Indoor Selectionals and the improvements on the tennis style of his possible opponents. As he sleeps, he does image training on certain tennis situations.
Eiichiro repeats this routine until the Kanagawa Prefecture Junior Tennis Circuit - the very first step that will lead to his main goal - the All-Japan Junior Tennis Tournament.